Angela Lansbury Hits the Road in 'Blithe Spirit'
The actress won her fifth Tony Award for the classic Noel Coward comedy
Clearly, retirement is not in Angela Lansbury's vocabulary.
The beloved 88-year-old star of theater, film and television will reprise her Tony-winning role as the eccentric clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Noel Coward's classic 1941 comedy Blithe Spirit, in a limited North American tour starting in December.
Previously seen in hit engagements on Broadway and in London's West End, the touring production will kick off at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles on Dec. 9, running through Jan. 18.
Other scheduled dates include San Francisco's Golden Gate Theatre (Jan. 20-Feb. 1), Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre (Feb. 10-March 15), and the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. (March 17-29). That final venue represents something of a homecoming given that Lansbury first played the National in the tryout engagement of her 1957 Broadway debut, Hotel Paradiso.
"During the course of my career, I've had the good fortune to play many, many unique and wonderful roles in the movies, on stage and television," said Lansbury in a statement. "And it is a joy to once again step into the role of Madame Arcati, and bring Noel Coward's classic comedy Blithe Spirit to wonderful audiences here in North America who have supported me for over seven decades."
Directed by Michael Blakemore, the tour also stars Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey), Jemima Rooper, Charlotte Parry, Susan Louise O'Connor and Sandra Shipley. Additional cast are to be announced,
One of Coward's most enduringly popular works, the play centers on an upper-crust novelist who invites a dotty medium to his home to conduct a seance, as research for the occult elements of his next book. Instead, the plan backfires when the prickly ghost of his first wife is unwittingly summoned, and she sets about sabotaging his current marriage.
Lansbury was awarded the Tony for featured actress in a play for the role in 2009, marking her first win for a non-musical. She had previously scored Tonys for Mame, Dear World, Gypsy and Sweeney Todd.
Prior to playing Madame Arcati in the West End earlier this year, Lansbury toured Australia to great acclaim in 2013 in Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy, starring opposite James Earl Jones.
The North American tour of Blithe Spirit is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Steve Traxler, Lee Dean, John Frost, Charles Diamond and Will Trice, in association with JAM Theatricals.